An Angus Media site

Meeting coverage brought to you by the communications team at Angus Media. Click here to visit www.Angus.Media

Other Angus Media
event sites …
  1. Beef Improvement Federation
  2. Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle
  3. National Angus Conference
  4. Range Beef Cow Symposium

Visit the topic library …

The topic sites in our library offer gateways to information on body condition scoring, beef cow efficiency, country-of-origin labeling, targeting the Certified Angus Beef® brand and more.

Sign up for ...
  1. Angus Journal
  2. Angus Beef Bulletin
  3. Angus Journal Daily
  4. Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA

Angus Journal

Copyright © 2016
Angus Media.
All Rights Reserved

Finding Your Way

The road back to the ranch isn’t a straight one.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jan. 27, 2016) — “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

That quote by Francis Bacon was shared by Dan McCarty to a group of ranchers, both young and old, at the 23rd annual Cattlemen’s College®, part of the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show in San Diego Jan. 27.

Dan McCarty

“I think we’re seeing a reemergence in the ag industry,” McCarty said. “It’s just amazing to see the talent in all [our young people] and people who will help shape the industry in the future.”

McCarty serves as director of industry and affiliate outreach for NCBA and owns and operates McCarty Cattle Co. in Parachute, Colo.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in farm and ranch management from Colorado State University (CSU), McCarty returned to his hometown of Walden, Colo., with the intention of joining his father in the family’s seedstock operation. Instead, he served Silver Spur Cattle Co. as a foreman and manager for five years before deciding “it’s a lot more fun to be in this business when you have some ownership and capital.”

McCarty left Silver Spur in need of a break from the ranching industry. He worked in the oilfields for a year before accepting his current position with NCBA.

“I think you truly identify your passion in life when you’re not doing it,” he said. “You really have to go out and do something else to realize where you want to be in life. Opportunities don’t just knock on the door; you’re going to have to knock that door down.”

“I think we’re seeing a reemergence in the ag industry,” McCarty said. “It’s just amazing to see the talent in all [our young people] and people who will help shape the industry in the future.”

McCarty grew up in the early 1980s on a registered seedstock operation that dates back more than 100 years. Those years weren’t the best years to be in agriculture, he noted. “When I grew up, everyone told me the worst thing you can do is go into agriculture.”

That’s where he wanted to be, though, and when McCarty’s father bought a group of registered cattle in 2000, he and his wife pooled all their funds and bought one cow to run with his father’s.

The first few years were slow, he said. McCarty and his wife didn’t borrow money those first years, and his risk-averse father wasn’t high on borrowing, either. In the high-rent area outside Aspen (McCarty’s neighbors include Kevin Costner, Don Henley and the founder of Victoria’s Secret), he and his wife leased ranches rather than buying outright. Even today, the only ground he owns is a quarter-acre lot in town.

McCarty and his father “eventually got divorced,” he said. He had bigger ideas than his family operation could support, and said splitting from it was one of the best decisions he’s made.

He shared some closing points with young producers: Build relationships, think long-term and get involved.

Be creative, McCarty urged. Don’t get stuck in the image in your mind of the way it should be and miss the way it could be.

“I’m not a full-time rancher,” McCarty noted. “There are a lot of non-full-time ranchers. I don’t think you should apologize for doing other things and making it work for you. That’s where opportunity comes from.”

Editor’s Note: The articles used within this site represent a mixture of copyrights. This article was written by or under contract of the Angus Journal, an Angus Media publication. If you would like to reprint or repost the article, you must first request permission by contacting the editor at 816-383-5270; 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. The Angus Journal claims copyright to this website as presented. We welcome educational venues and cattlemen to link to this site as a service to their audience.